Professor Emeritus Dr. David Parkhurst is a mathematical biologist with expertise in physiological plant ecology and statistics. He joined O'Neill in 1973, a year after the school was founded, and served on the faculty for 32 years.
Parkhurst's research interests involve physiological plant ecology, including transfers of carbon dioxide and water between leaves and atmosphere and among the cells within leaves, both in relation to leaf structure. He also explores how mathematics and statistics apply to environmental issues such as analysis of concentrations of indicator bacteria at swimming beaches. Currently, Parkhurst recently analyzed data for coliform bacteria in the aqueducts leaving New York City's Kensico reservoir in relation to counts of gulls, geese, and other waterfowl there.
Since retiring in 2005, Parkhurst has cultivated his garden and started beekeeping. He is active in four local service organizations. These include the Bloomington Environmental Commission (on which he also served before for 14 years starting in 1974), the Bloomington Tree Commission, the Environmental Resources Advisory Council to the Bloomington Parks Department, and the Steering Committee for a two-year research project of the Friends of Lake Monroe. With his wife, he delivers Meals on Wheels once a month.